Thursday, August 22, 2013

Agave americana ‘striata’, my favorite plant in the garden (this week)…

I’m afraid you’re going to be underwhelmed at this week’s favorite. Maybe a little back-story will help? This is a story of persistence and luck.

I first laid eyes on Agave americana ‘striata’ when I visited San Marcos Growers in 2009. Since it was growing in their display garden without a name (two photos below) I called it Agave ‘marmoleum’ because the random stripes on the leaves made me think of marmoleum (the new fangled version of old fashioned linoleum).

Thankfully their Randy Baldwin commented on that post and gave me the name, and my search started.

The next time I ran across it was at the Ruth Bancroft Garden in 2012. It was in their behind-the-scenes nursery, we’d been allowed back there to look at the plants and were pushing our luck trying to buy a couple. I passed on this specimen, I wanted it badly but there were other more healthy looking things calling out to me.

So after that, when I finally did end up with a Agave americana ‘striata’ in my hands I didn’t even recognize it for what it was, it looked so bad. Here it is when I bought it home last fall as part of the agave rescue

Pretty pathetic right? And those random yellow stripes were just faintly visible. Early this spring I planted it up in a container and placed it in the driveway, near the vegetable stock tanks. I figured this was the best place for it to get a lot of heat (southern exposure, concrete, and a dark wall) and I’d remember to splash some water on it frequently, whenever I waterd the vegetables.

It has rewarded me with lots of new growth and those random yellow stripes I wanted. Now I’ll just need to decide if it goes in the ground next spring or gets potted up to a larger container.

The stats:
  • Reaches 6-8 ft wide and 4-6 ft tall (in the ground)
  • Wants full sun and is drought tolerant (and of course not moisture tolerant)
  • Hardy to 15-20 F
  • Native to Mexico

Do you have a favorite in your garden this week? Please share it in the comments below, and if you've got a blog post about it include the link so we all can find it!

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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